How to control blinds with Alexa
With the increasing popularity of smart home devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), new, innovative ways to control your home are becoming more widespread. People are looking for inventive ways to make their home life more efficient, from smart thermostats to smart lighting, which can be operated remotely, via an app or through voice control.
This isn’t our first post about how smart devices can reinvigorate your blinds, however with the introduction of smart speakers with integrated virtual assistants, like the Amazon Echo with Alexa, your connected devices can be controlled even easier with voice commands alone. New functions, skills and ways to use these virtual assistants are being added all the time and connecting your blinds into your smart home system is a clever and desirable step.
So, let’s take a look at how to link up your blinds to your smart home system.
How to set up your blinds
To allow your blinds to be controlled via Alexa with voice commands alone, the simplest solution is to buy a piece of kit which will act as a go-between for your blinds and Alexa. This go-between tech will be able to receive commands that you give your Echo and will then carry out the specified action on your blinds – opening, closing or shutting them to a pre-set position.
There are a number of different pieces of go-between tech which work in different ways and vary in their ease of installation.
Somfy TaHoma: This is a smart home system which allows you to connect smart equipment throughout the home – from thermostats and motion sensors to lighting – and manage them through one interface. By connecting compatible electric blinds to your TaHoma system, you will be able to control them remotely through the system’s secure radio signals. In turn, Alexa can be connected to the TaHoma system, allowing you to use voice commands to control functions, including operating your blinds.
Alternative smart home systems will work in much the same way, connecting your remote controlled blinds to their control system. Such systems include the Vera Edge Z-Wave and Broadlink RM Pro. However, note that further pieces of kit such as transceivers may be necessary and these may take some time to set up, depending on your type of blind and the frequency they operate on. If you enjoy technology and have the patience for some YouTube tutorials, these are still achievable options! Equipment can then be controlled via smart home system apps or, when connected to your Echo with Alexa, can be controlled with voice commands.
Alternatively, to turn existing, non-automated blinds into smart blinds, you can buy a different kind of device. These retrofitted devices are attached in the recess of your window and you simply loop your operating cord through them. They house a motor which can then open and close the blinds for you by pulling on the cord.
With the increasing popularity of home hub voice controls, new models – for example, the Brunt Blind Engine – are often Alexa compatible, meaning you can link and control them via your Echo. It is worth noting that some heavier and larger blinds may not, however, be suitable for such devices and some gadgets need a power supply.
Denton Blinds are experts in blinds, offering customers in and around Burton On Trent and Kettering a wide range of high quality window coverings. With such a large selection, we have blinds to suit any interior design style and customer requirement. As well as our stylish and practical blinds, we have a team of experienced, skilled fitters on hand to install your blind for you, guaranteeing a flawless finish. Get in touch with our helpful team today with any enquiries.